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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/17/2005 1:07:18 PM EDT

Some of you may know that I'm currently caring for my ALZ Grandpa and gave up my jobs at the PD and gun shop in AZ to come to Ohio full time. I plan to return when he kicks it.

A few years ago, he had given me a real babied, garaged, 1973 GMC 3/4 ton Pick Up. This has the nice 454 engine as well as the 8 lug axles. It has 120,000 original miles and the engine is so clean, you can do all the maint you want and not even get a light dusting on your hands. He drove this thing very little as he always had another daily driver to put miles on. Light surface rust in a few places on the body. Unheard of in Ohio. Sat the last 2 years due to him having another daily driver and him being in and out of the hospital.

My question is, I need 4wd capability. I am not a "Chevy" man at all. Been a Ford guy since I was brought home from the hospital in one. I was considering selling this beast off and getting a used Ranger 4x4 instead. I'm quite sure the used car will be in either somewhat less or worse condition than this 1973.

I found all the steps to convert one and it looks pretty straightforward. Having done a few stage 2 lifts and such, I feel this probably wouldn't be any worse than that. I have lots of experience wrenching on cars.

All things considered, I would be lifting the Ranger and sticking 33's on it anyway. With some lift blocks and a body lift, and I can get 35's on the Chevy with no problems.

Of course, with gas at $5 a gal, it'll probably spend more time in the garage.... It might increase in value.

Bottom line, I'm considering keeping it for its sentimental value and it's market value even though I abhor Chevy products.

This will be my primary transportation.

Thanks for the input.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 1:22:09 PM EDT
The chevy sounds nice, if you convert it it may hurt the value instead of increasing. You will spend the same money lifting the ford, you are gonna have to put 9" of lift on the ford to fit 35's. I would keep the chevy and baby it. try to find an older 4x4 fullsize. With the gas prices, if you spend $2000 lifting a four thousand dollar mini truck then you are going backwards, Find up to a '86 chevy truck, still has solid front axles, easy to work on. Do a 3" lift put on 35's.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 1:25:35 PM EDT
I wouldn't go thru what it takes to make one 4wd. Keep it like it is imo.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 1:25:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2005 1:28:15 PM EDT by 89grand]
There's alot more to converting a 2wd to 4wd than meets the eye. It's not simply a matter of putting a differential in the front.

You will at least need a donor 4x4 to pirate the front leaf spring mounts, steering components, transfer case, tranny, front and rear drive shafts, transfer case lever and linkages, cut hole in the floor of the cab for the transfer case lever, find a front diff with same gear ratio as the rear or change them both and I'm sure a number of odds and ends that can't think of right now.

Your best bet is to either swap the cab and bed onto a 4x4 chassis or sell it and get a 4x4.

BTW, it would be WAY worse than doing a lift kit, about 500% more work.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 1:29:22 PM EDT
Damn,A rust-free 73 Chevy P/U,wow,leave it in the garage!!!!!!
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 2:29:19 PM EDT

Thanks for all the comments.

I know what it takes to convert it. I understand about the front diff, x-members, linkage, springs, mounts, shafts, etc. I do my home work. After viewing several step by step projects posted elsewhere, I feel it is doable and would take about 1 week or so to get it done, if I have all the parts.

Now, as to it's value, I seriously doubt that it would last as a complete truck for just as long as it would take to yank the engine and stick it into some unsuspecting Camero or something. It's value is simply based on the engine alone. Every person I have ever mentioned it to, has as much as stated they wanted the engine alone. Too bad. It's a nice truck for a Chevy product.

As to me and it's value. I really have no desire to keep it unless it is 4wd. No desire whatsoever. I am not a Chevy person, never have been, never want to be. Sorry, it's just that way. If I have to get another vehicle, it will not have anything to do with GM, GMC, Chevy, Pontiac. It will be from another manufacterer.

The nice thing is that I have access to a garage with all the tools, so I can do this with a minimum of costs to me. Or I can dump it and be done with it.

I think conversion would be a nice project, and not too hard to do.


Link Posted: 8/17/2005 4:00:04 PM EDT
Rust free '73 Chevy? They came with factory installed rust! That was the year the bean counters took over at GM & bought all that inferior Jap steel.

Seriously, just buy a 4x4...you'll save a couple grand easy. A conversion isn't worth the time & effort when there are literally 10s of thousands of 4x4 trucks available. The dealer's used lots are chocked full of recent trade-in's as a result of the "discount" plans that just finished up.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 4:02:02 PM EDT
Lots of precision angles and fitting required to modify to 4X4. More work than you realize, I would guess. Especially since ya don't like GM products.
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